Dominica Electricity Company makes first profit since hurricane damage in 2017

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Sun Dominica Photo

(CMC) — The Dominica Electricity Company (DOMLEC) today reported a profit of more than a million dollars (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) after having recorded an EC$2.5 million loss in 2018.

The lone electricity company said that the EC$1.6 million profit last year represented a significant recovery on its operations.

“We have been able to recover from the ravages of Hurricane Maria in 2017 that actually took a number of years, we started rebuilding in 2017 moved into 2018 and even in 2019 we still found ourselves trying to get our system back to the level it was prior to the hurricane,” said Clyde Edwards, DOMLEC’s financial analyst and generation manager.

Edwards said that the focus of DOMLEC, which held its 46th annual general meeting here Friday, was on rebuilding its infrastructure, adding that 2018 was also a challenging year.

“As a company, we were not able to generate a profit in that year, we actually closed off the year with a loss of EC$2.5 million and we did indicate that we would strive to bring the company back to a level of profitability, and for 2019 we were able to achieve that.

“I think we landed at about EC$1.6 million in profit. I know it is a far cry from where the profits used to be in the past and disappointment for the shareholders to a certain extent. But I think the fact that we were able to move from a major loss in 2017 to a reduced loss in 2018 and to generate a profit in 2019, I think it is a very good achievement,” he added.

The company was started in 1949 by the Colonial Development Corporation, which later became the Commonwealth Development Corporation. In 1976, the government purchased 49 per cent of the shares of the company and in 1983 acquired the remaining shares.

In 1987, the government reduced its ownership interest in the company by offering 60 per cent of the shares to the general public and DOMLEC’s employees. In April 2013, Light and Power Holdings, a subsidiary of the Canadian-based Emera Corporation, bought WRB Enterprises’ shares and became the majority shareholder of the company.

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